S'pore shouldn't be defined by rankings

Many Singaporeans will be proud of the many high rankings the country has achieved despite being a relatively young nation (Is Singapore a small country?; Aug 5).

We have certainly joined the big leagues in various realms and have proven that size is not destiny.

However, we also know that we have to keep working to stay ahead of the pack.

Will we be constantly holding on to a siege mentality in case our rankings drop?

Are we validated by external parties that bestow on us the high rankings, without which we feel little as a people or nation?

Because ranking is so much in our psyche, will we treat others by how they stack against us?

How does that augur for building an inclusive society where every citizen matters?

We should be wary of letting hard and cold numbers rule us, lest we become smug.

Everyone plays a part in achieving those high rankings. We should remain quietly confident and not be arrogant about our stellar achievements.

We may bend but not break when challenged. We should stand ready to defend this land, notwithstanding our rankings.

Lee Teck Chuan